Varsity Sports Update: 10/6

Freshman Alex Silva has been named West Virginia University's Athlete of the Week following his performance on Friday against Big East foe No. 7 Connecticut.

The Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, native scored the game-winning goal, the first of his career, at the 29:05 mark in the first half. Sophomore Zach Johnson started the play, punting the ball into UConn territory and finding sophomore Paul Paradise. After gaining possession of the ball, Paradise dribbled the ball into the 18-yard box and once two UConn defenders collapsed on the Plum, Pa., native, he laid it off to Silva. The freshman, charging in from the top of the 18-yard box, blasted the ball on the ground to the right corner of the net for the score. Silva leads all freshmen this season with 16 shots and three points.

Special Notes of the Week

  • The women's soccer team's match on Sunday will be televised nationally on ESPNU. The match against Connecticut will be the third time this season that the team has appeared on television. Sunday's match is Breast Cancer Awareness Day with fans encouraged to wear pink as the WVU coaching staff makes a check presentation to the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.

  • The men's soccer team plays host to Pitt in the 2008 Backyard Brawl on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. Members of the men's and women's basketball team will be available to sign autographs a half hour prior to kick off. Free pizza will also be given out to the first 50 Mountaineer Maniacs.

  • The cross country team has been ranked No. 2 in the Division I Women's Cross Country Mid-Atlantic Region rankings. The Mountaineers rank second behind No. 1 Princeton and ahead of No. 3 Georgetown, No. 4 Villanova and No. 5 Penn State. The Mid-Atlantic Region is one of nine divisions nationwide, with 15 teams ranked in each region. This is the third consecutive week that WVU has been ranked in the second slot. WVU currently ranks No. 9 in the national poll by the USTFCCA.

    This Week in Cross Country

    The Mountaineers have a week break before the team competes in the Penn State National Invitational held in University Park, Pa., on Oct. 17 … the race is set to begin at 10 a.m.

    Last Week in Cross Country

    Junior Marie-Louise Asselin set a meet and course record with a time of 19:38 at the Paul Short Invitational to lead the No. 9 West Virginia University cross country team to a first place finish on Oct. 3 ... WVU finished with 47 total points to beat Big East rival Villanova, who placed second with 78 points ... this year's race featured 43 teams ... Asselin's finish broke the meet record by 21 seconds, previously set by last season's NCAA Champion Sally Kipyego from Texas Tech in 2007 ... she also broke the course record which was set by Georgetown's Melissa Grelli at 19:50. Grelli beat Asselin in last season's Big East Championship ... Clara Grandt finished fifth (20:09) followed by Keri Bland (20:22) in ninth, Ahna Lewis (20:49) in 15th and Kate Harrison (20:53) in 17th placing five Mountaineers in the top 20 fi ishers out of 301 runners ... Kaylyn Christopher finished 38th with a time of 21:24 followed by Alison Spiker (21:56) who finished 82nd.

    Notes & Quotes

    "This is probably the most prestigious race and course that we run in. I'm thrilled because the team raced what I would consider a near perfect race in terms of the team showing" - Head Coach Sean Cleary

    This Week in Rifle

    The Mountaineers break from regular-season play for their annual Alumni Match on Friday, Oct. 10, at the WVU Rifle Range at 2 p.m.

    Last Week in Rifle

    The Mountaineers (2-0 overall, 0-0 GARC) opened their 2008-09 season with two commanding home wins … WVU defeated Ohio State 4629-4535 on Oct. 4 and Morehead State 4647-4541 on Oct. 5 … sophomore Smallbore All-American Tommy Santelli led the squad to its first win of the season, with 576 in smallbore and 586 in air rifle … WVU set three school records and three personal-bests … WVU's counting air rifle score 2341 set a school record, while the non-counting smallbore score 2312 was six points off the school record … WVU is now 35-0 against Ohio State … the Mountaineers returned Sunday and defeated Morehead State in their first-ever meeting … the squad continued its record-setting ways, setting three additional personal-bests and five school records … WVU scored 2308 smallbore and 2339 air rifle for an aggregate score that equals the program's top-mark of 4647 set at last season's NCAA qualifying match … redshirt junior Bryant Wallizer, a two-time Air Rifle All-American, led the team in the discipline with a program-best mark 591.

    Notes and Quotes

    Senior Paul Miller had a tremendous opening weekend, shooting personal-bests in smallbore (577) and air rifle (587) … Miller also shot a second-round standing score of 100 against Morehead State … sophomore Smallbore All-American Andy Lamson also had a strong two-day showing, shooting a personal-best 582 in smallbore both days … Lamson was one point short of the school-record aggregate score against Morehead State, shooting 587 air rifle for a combined total of 1169 … prior to their season-opening weekend, the Mountaineers earned their second pre-season No. 2 rank, taking the second spot in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) Poll … WVU was the highest GARC team ranked and trailed only defending NCAA Champion Alaska-Fairbanks … the Mountaineers and the Nanooks have won every NCAA Rifle Championships since 1988, with the exception of the 2005 title.

    This Week In Rowing

    The West Virginia University rowing team is idle this week ... they will continue action on Saturday, Nov. 1 with a trip to the Head of the Occoquan, in Fairfax Station, Va.

    Last Week In Rowing

    The Mountaineers competed in their first race of the fall season with a trip to the Head of the Ohio, on the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Saturday, Sept. 27.

    Notes and Quotes

    The Mountaineers competed well at the Head of the Ohio as the varsity four team ‘A' boat took second place in the open +4 race with a time of 17:06.7 ... the boat of Jenelle Spencer, Kensie Phillips, Kim Benda, Alita Meyers, coxswain Stephanie Brown finished just behind the Baltimore Rowing Club ... the team ‘B' boat of Keyara Stevenson, Katie Walsh, Rachel Viglianco, Brett Krumholz and coxswain Gillian Hanbury, also had a good showing with an eight place finish (18:09.0).

    "We compete at this early season regatta without any preparation for or emphasis on the regatta itself," says Head Coach Jimmy King. "Given the proximity of the regatta to Morgantown and the number of students we have on the team from the Pittsburgh area, it's one we don't want to pass up. As such, we treat the regatta as an opportunity to train in a more competitive environment and as a break from our routine on the Mon River."

    This Week in Men's Soccer

    The West Virginia University men's soccer team returns home for the fi rst time since Sept. 26, a span of three games, when it plays host to Pitt on Wednesday, Oct. 8 … kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m. … on Saturday, Oct. 11, the Mountaineers travel to Providence for a game against the Friars at 1 p.m. … WVU is 31-9-3 all-time against Pitt and owns an 8-4 record against Providence.

    Last Week in Men's Soccer

    The Mountaineers played at No. 7 Connecticut on Oct. 3, and upset the Huskies, 1-0, at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium … the game was broadcast live on the Fox Soccer Channel as the Men's College Match of the Week … freshman Alex Silva's game-winning goal at the 29:05 mark was also the first goal of his career … the play started with sophomore Zach Johnson punting the ball long down the left side of the field to sophomore Paul Paradise … the Plum, Pa., native dribbled it into the box and after two Husky defenders collapsed on him, he laid it off to Silva … the Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, native came charging in from the top of the 18-yard box and blasted it to the right corner of the net for the score … Johnson made five saves in the win and played all 90 minutes between the posts … the Mountaineers held the Huskies' leading scorers, O'Brian White and Akeem Priestley, to just one shot combined in the match.

    Notes & Quotes

    This marks the third straight year that WVU has defeated UConn … it is the second consecutive year the two teams were featured as the Fox Soccer Channel Men's College Match of the Week … Johnson is just four saves short of cracking the top 10 list for WVU career goalkeeper saves … Johnson lowered his goals against average mark to 0.47 after the shutout against UConn … with the assist, Paradise now leads the team in the points category with five.

    "We get up against Top 10 teams," Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc said after the game. "We prepared all week for this game and to come back after the USF loss shows this team's resiliency. Defensively, we did really well tonight. The box score is misleading because a lot of the shots were taken from a distance and went over the crossbar. I think everyone did a great job limiting the danger. I hope this game acts as a catalyst to get us going."

    This Week in Women's Soccer

    The Mountaineers return to Morgantown for a four-match homestand starting with Providence at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium … on Sunday, Oct. 12, WVU plays host to Connecticut in a 2 p.m. match televised on ESPNU … Friday's contest is a Chick-fil-A Coloring Sheet Night as all children ages 13 and under will gain free admission with a completed coloring sheet courtesy of Chick-fil-A at Morgantown Mall … Sunday's match is Breast Cancer Awareness Day with fans encouraged to wear pink as the WVU coaching staff makes a check presentation to the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.

    Last Week in Women's Soccer

    Ninth-ranked West Virginia recorded 22 shots but could not find the back of the net more than once, playing to a 1-1 double overtime draw at Seton Hall on Oct. 3 … WVU, playing in its fifth overtime match of the season, fired off six shots in the final eight minutes of regulation that nearly ended the tie … the WVU defense allowed only one shot in the final 33 minutes … WVU took an early 1-0 lead in the 18th minute on a goal from freshman Blake Miller … Deana Everrett led all players with eight shots … West Virginia was defeated for just the second time this season, falling 1-0 at Rutgers on Oct. 5 … it was the first loss for the Mountaineers since a 2-1 double overtime defeat versus Santa Clara on Aug. 29 … Rutgers, who took only four shots, found the back of the net on a second half goal in transition from Caycie Gusman … the Mountaineers out-shot Rutgers 10-4.

    Notes & Quotes

    WVU has yet to score a goal in five overtime games this season … the goal allowed by the Mountaineer defense at Seton Hall was the first in the last 446 minutes of play … WVU has out-shot its opponent every game this season … WVU allowed goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season … WVU has scored at least one goal in every game but two this season.

    "We played well this weekend but are having trouble finding the back of the net. We played well enough to win both games but our opponents capitalized on the smallest of our mistakes." – Head Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown on the 0-1-1 weekend.

    This Week in Swimming & Diving

    The West Virginia University swimming & diving team will open the regular season this weekend at Marshall on Saturday, Oct. 11. East Carolina and Xavier will join the meet which starts at noon.

    Last Week in Swimming & Diving

    The team had the annual Blue/Gold Meet last Saturday morning.

    Notes & Quotes

    The Mountaineers will return numerous top performers on both the men's and women's squads … the men's side will return Pablo Marmolejo and Michael Walker and they have an abundance of youth … the women most notably return Morgan Callaway and Kayla Andrews … Callaway had a breakout year last season and will contribute mightily this season.

    This Week In Volleyball

    The West Virginia University volleyball team (5-10, 0-4) will host Robert Morris (12-6, 1-0) in a 7 p.m. match on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the WVU Coliseum.

    Last Week In Volleyball

    The Mountaineers went 0-2 in Big East action as they were defeated by Georgetown on Friday, Oct. 3, in a 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23) match ... on Sunday, Oct. 5, the Mountaineers fell to USF in a hard fought 3-2 (18- 25, 25-20, 25-19, 26-28, 15-11) match.

    Notes and Quotes

    Freshman setter Kari Post led the Mountaineers this weekend with 76 assists, 14 digs and eight kills as the Mountaineers went 0-2 in their second weekend of Big East play … against USF, Post landed a season-high 47 assists ... freshman outside hitter Michelle Kopecky led the Mountaineers in kills this weekend with 25, while freshman outside hitter Kylie Armbruster followed with 20 ... sophomore libero Bonnie West led in digs with 29 and six service aces.

    This week in Tennis

    The West Virginia University tennis team has completed its fall season and will continue play on Jan. 23 with a match against Akron at the Ridgeview Racquet Club in Morgantown, W.Va.

    Last week in Tennis

    The Mountaineers traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they competed in the Queen City Invitational ... Fairmont, W.Va., native, junior Monique Burton led the way for the Mountaineers as she finished second in the Flight ‘B' singles draw.

    Notes and Quotes

    Burton led the Mountaineers as she posted her best performance of the season with a second-place finish in the Flight ‘B' singles draw ... she then fell in the final round to No. 1 seed Myriem Mhirit from Eastern Kentucky in a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 match ... Burton defeated Jeanette Feider from Xavier 6-3, 6-4, to get to the finals ... also having a good showing was the doubles team of Burton and junior Stephanie LaFortune, that fought their way to the final round of competition where they were defeated by the No. 1 seed pairing of Svetlana Pimenova and Alexandra Sitnikova from Eastern Kentucky, 9-7 ... in other singles competition freshman Milica Pantovic had a good weekend as she made her way to the semifinals with wins over Xavier's Cathy Starr (2-6, 6-1, 6-4) and Dayton's Emily Buerschen (6-3, 6- 0).

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